This guest post is written by Chris Collins, President and Artistic Director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation.

The 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival, in partnership with the DTE Energy Foundation, is enhancing the “Greening of the Festival” program to save more recyclable materials than ever before from ending up in landfills.

Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation and DTE Energy Foundation are working with Schupan Recycling to collect recycled materials and educate attendees. Nearly 100 recycling containers will be placed throughout the Festival footprint, making it convenient to recycle. In addition to traditional recycling efforts, vendors will be encouraged to use a back-of-house organic recycling program to dispose of leftover food, produce and wastewater recycling.

The greening initiative aims to reduce, reuse and recycle waste throughout the Jazz Festival weekend, helping to preserve and beautify the great city of Detroit. In 2015, the greening initiative increased the hours focused on educating festivalgoers on recyclable materials. The role of the Greening Ambassadors was to:

  • Educate attendees about recycling at the Festival and the overall benefits to Michigan
  • Motivate attendees to visit the Greening Education booth to learn more about the process of recycling with an interactive game called “Bin It to Win It!

In addition to the Festival volunteers, youth volunteers from Detroit Recreation Leadership Council served as Greening Ambassadors. Because of the DRLC’s support, the direct education hours increased by 95 percent overall. With 24 youth volunteers per day, they interacted with nearly 750 Festival attendees throughout the weekend.

At this year’s festival we look to expand upon the educational initiative to arm attendees with facts about how they can better support the “Greening of the Festival” program and increase recycling awareness! With the continuing partnership, DTE Energy Foundation’s support and commitment to sustainability plays a large role in the successful reduction of waste from landfills, edification of festival-goers and expanded support to new festivals.

Educating festival attendeesWays to make a difference and reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Spend the weekend downtown with a special VIP hotel package at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, helping to decrease vehicle traffic
  • To decrease the use of paper, use mobile applications for Festival updates; i.e. email, websites, QR codes, Detroit Jazz Festival LIVE! app
  • Walk, ride bikes or carpool with friends to reduce carbon emissions
  • Use compostable cups and plates when eating at the festival

The 37th annual Detroit Jazz Festival is Labor Day Weekend, September 2-5, 2016.  For more information about the world’s largest FREE jazz festival and its exciting lineup visit www.detroitjazzfest.com.

See you there!